Paros might not be as well known as Santorini and Mykonos but it sure deserves much more attention than it gets. Readers of the renowned Travel+Leisure magazine have described the island of Paros as the most beautiful island in Europe. While I prefer to never refer to any place as the best or the most beautiful (as all the places are different and can’t be compared) it definitely was our favourite. We completely fell in love with it. It is so beautiful and picturesque that we could not stop taking pictures. In a way we even preferred it over Santorini and definitely over Mykonos (as we were not looking for nightlife). It is the “real” greek island, meaning that it is much more authentic and traditional than any of these famous islands. When we travel we like to meet locals, eat like locals and do things that locals usually do. In Santorini and Mykonos it is not the case. There are very few authentic places and even those ones are influenced by the trends of the moment.
We arrived to Paros from Santorini with the ferry (Blue star – 3h,15min – 21euros p.p.) that leaves you in the town of Parikia and as we had a lot of bags and we did not decide straight away if we want to rent a scooter/car/ATV, we decided to take a hotel directly there. The island is very small so it doesn’t really matter where you stay as if you have any vehicle it is very easy to move around and visit everything. Anyway Parikia is the capital town of the island and even though it might not be as touristic as Naousa and Lefkes if you have enough days it should be on your list. Comparing to Naousa it is also cheaper.
TOWNS YOU SHOULD DEFINITELY VISIT:
These towns are just beautiful as they are. There are no famous landmarks or famous museums to visit. You just have to wander around and get lost. That is the only way to find all those spectacular little corners with colourful doors and flowers around, narrow streets with local shops and amazing little cafés.
Naousa is probably the most known town in Paros and it is located in the north of the island. It is a fishing village and it has a very beautiful little harbour with many fishing boats. Lot of restaurants, bars and shops are located right around this harbour. Octopuses hanging in front of each restaurant is nothing unusual here. In this town there are also the ruins of the Venetian Fortress from the 15th. century. It is definitely a more posh place than the other towns. There are also quite a lot of hotels so maybe it could be the best place to stay, however it is more expensive than the rest of the island. The harbour is also very nice during the sunset hours. One very famous “insta” spot is in front of the café Linardo. I didn’t manage to get a picture there as we were in Paros off season and it was completely closed (also the artificial flowers and the name tab was taken down).
Very traditional, small and beautiful town with only 500 inhabitants. It is built on a hill with an altitude of 300 meters above the sea level. On the main square (where is also the Church of Agia Triada) there are a few bars with terraces and beautiful flowers framing them. It looks so beautiful and cosy that you will not want to finish your coffee and leave. One very famous “insta” spot in Lefkes is a corner house with bougainvillea flowers which is a bit hard to find as it is not in the very centre of the old town but in a small neighbourhood (but don’t worry, it is only around 5 min walk) I made a screenshot of the exact location as you might not find it easily and here is the link: https://goo.gl/maps/4v2nc2YaJgxR3wwp7
As said before, Parikia is the capital town and the main port of the island. Here you can find lots of restaurants, bars and shops that compared to the ones in Naousa were much more affordable and, at least the ones where we have been, had good quality food and reasonable prices. There is a very nice boulevard along the seaside where you can have a walk and even have a romantic dinner just in front of the sea, as many restaurants have their tables right on the sidewalk. It is also another great place to watch the sunset.
OTHER LITTLE TOWNS THAT DESERVE YOUR ATTENTION
We got a recommendation to have a lunch or dinner in Marpissa so we went there and we had lunch in Charoula’s tavern which was very good and I also fell in love with their terrace, which was hidden between the trees and it made the atmosphere very cosy. In Marpissa there is also one “insta” spot, which is just a random pink door, impossible to miss as it’s just the tiniest village. I also really liked the Euangelismós church so you should have a look if you decide to visit this town for any reason.
We were also told that Aliki fishing village is very beautiful and has good beaches and food. Unfortunately we did not have enough time to visit it but as it was recommended by locals I believe it is worth it.
BEACHES IN PAROS
We visited only one beach but I am sure it was definitely the best one. It is called Kolympethres beach and it has the clearest water. It is very small so probably during the season it gets crowded but as we were there off season we had it almost only for ourselves. Even though it’s a sandy beach it is very special for its unusual granite rock formations surrounding it. It reminds me of the beaches in Seychelles. We got a lot of recommendations from a receptionist in our hotel for other beautiful beaches. Apparently Chrissi Akti (Golden Beach) has the biggest waves so it’s the best for water sports such as windsurfing. Santa Maria Beach is the best overall beach which means it is suitable for everybody. The water is very shallow so it is especially perfect for families with kids. There are water sport centres so you can book your own diving or windsurfing lessons. It is surrounded with bars, restaurants, hotels and you can find there also some night clubs/beach clubs. We also passed by Monastiri beach as we wanted to visit Monastiri Church which is right at the beach. Other recommended beaches from our hotel receptionist were: Faragas beach, Parasporos beach and Aliki beaches.
Few extra informations:
Parikia is full of car/scooter/ATV rentals so as soon as you arrive with your ferry you can pick up your vehicle. We took a car which cost us 20eur/day (we were there off season-october so maybe it might be a bit more expensive during the high season). The scooter was 15eur/day and the ATV was around 30eur/day.
During the summer there is a local ferry going to the beautiful island of Antiparos, which is only 10 min away from Paros and the ferry costs only 1,20 eur. It is definitely worth to visit and if we had had more time we would have gone there for sure.
Best spots for sunset: on top of the Monastiri church, Naousa harbour, Parikia port
If you are planning to do island hopping, make sure you check out our Santorini travel guide: http://borntotraveldiaries.com/santorini-travel-guide/
We loved Paros very much so we will be coming back there for sure. We hope this blog post was helpful to you and you are gonna have a lovely time when Paros. For more pictures and videos check our instagram feed from October 2020 and our story highlight (Paros). If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to comment bellow or contact us via email or even better via Instagram @borntotraveldiaries Thank you for your time and stay tuned for our next diary page 🙂 .